Age is but a number.
The unexpected tandem of fourth-year, proven winner Megan Tang and first-year, inexperienced Ariana Iranpour have represented Chicago exquisitely at the Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) Championships.
However, Iranpour is inexperienced no more. At the same ITA Central Region Championships in late September where this veteran-rookie pair took the crown, advancing to Nationals, Iranpour astoundingly finished in second place, after she entered as the No. 9 seed. Iranpour fell to a second-year from Wash U in that final match, but still finished as the second best player in the central region, and the top first-year.
Entering the ITA Nationals yesterday as the No. 3 seed, Tang and Iranpour first took on a team from Trinity (Texas). As if they wanted to make it interesting, the Maroons lost the first set 6–1 and saw two separate match points in the second set, but still came back to win that set 7–6. In this final set, Tang and Iranpour rallied to crush their opponents 10–2, winning the match 2–1.
The next pair of challengers standing in Chicago’s way was the No. 2 seed from Washington & Lee. Tang and Iranpour lost the same set in similar fashion, 6–3, and tried to replicate their first match heroics, but couldn’t quite pull off the upset, falling in straight sets, 2–0.
However you choose to think of this Chicago tandem—old and young, wise and hungry, tested and learning—these Maroons find themselves playing in the third-place ITA Nationals match this afternoon against a pair from Bowdoin, with a chance to finish as the third best doubles team in the country.